Persimmon boss to donate "millions" to charity

Jeff Fairburn, CEO of Persimmon
Jeff Fairburn, CEO of Persimmon
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​The CEO of housebuilder Persimmon ​has set up a charitable trust after facing ​widespread ​criticism over an incentive plan that could see him receive share options worth ​around​ ​£110m.

​Jeff Fairburn released a personal statement this morning saying: "​​I recognise and profoundly regret that Persimmon’s strong performance over the last few years is being eclipsed by the controversy surrounding the 2012 LTIP (long-term incentive plan)​ ​award​.​

“I am setting up a private Charitable Trust which I plan to use to benefit wider society over a sustained period of time by supporting, in a very meaningful way, my chosen charities.”

The firm’s chairman and the head of its pay committee quit last year after they failed to curb the scheme which ​has been heavily​ criticised by​ shareholders.

T​here are no plans for Mr Fairburn ​to disclose how much he​ is giving to charity nor ​which​ charities​ will benefit​.

It is understood that the chosen charities will receive a substantial portion of the £110m Mr Fairburn in line for and will run to "many millions of pounds".

There are no plans to disclose a time period to distribute the money and it is understood that a wide range of charities will benefit.

Mr Fairburn said: “Persimmon’s success as a business and the uncapped nature of the scheme has meant that the value of these awards has become very large.

"The introduction of the scheme pre-dates my appointment as chief executive and I would like to make it clear that I did not seek these levels of award nor do I consider it right to keep them entirely for myself.

"Once it became apparent that our outperformance would lead to a very significant award for me, I made plans to use a substantial proportion of the total to support the charities that are particularly important to me and my family. But, in what might be considered to be an old-fashioned approach, I believed that this was a personal matter and that I would be able to do this privately. It’s now clear that this belief was misplaced and so I am making my plans public and recognise that I should have done so sooner.

“I hope that this statement will clarify my position as we continue our mission to build the high quality, affordable family homes that Britain so badly needs. I am proud of what Persimmon has achieved under my tenure as CEO and after 28 years’ service there is much more that I still hope to do. I look forward to building the business further in the coming years.”